With the Green Deal set to launch next Autumn, the Government continues to look for ways to encourage the British public to get behind the scheme, and one such idea will see families offered a ‘cashback’ incentive.
According to the Financial Times (FT), ministers are set to announce a consultation on a scheme which will see up to £150 awarded to inefficient households who benefit from having their homes made more energy efficient under the Green Deal.
Under the Government’s flagship scheme, homeowners will be able to benefit by introducing measures to make their properties much more energy efficient, be it installing cavity wall insulation, double glazing or a new central heating boiler.
Such home improvements will be made at no upfront cost, to enable a wide uptake of the scheme which is being introduced as part of a Government initiative to reduce carbon emissions. The cost of implementing the measures will be paid back in installments, but the idea is for them to be offset by reduced energy bills.
By 2020, the coalition aims to achieve the insulated of some 14 million homes. But it’s not going to be an easy target to achieve, as a similar scheme run recently by supermarket giant Sainsburys has demonstrated. The company offered its 147,000 staff the opportunity to have their homes insulated for free, but surprisingly only 200 or so employees took them up on the offer as part of a two-month pilot scheme, the FT has revealed.
“When a trusted employer with 150,000 staff offers to give this away for free and the take-up is this low, it shows how much of a challenge this is,” commented a concerned Luciana Berger, Labour’s climate change spokeswoman, adding that it was ‘imperative’ for the Government to take a very serious look at the incentives made available to encourage a high take-up of the scheme.
But old habits die hard it seems, when it comes to our energy use and implementing change. So much so, many struggle with the concept of becoming more energy efficient, although with energy bills rising as dramatically as they have over the last 12 months, more and more energy consumers are beginning to see the light.
While the cashback should be a means of encouraging people to sign up for the Green Deal, Ms Berger said the proposed cashback is not a ‘true incentive’ because consumers who took up the offer would still need to pay it back eventually.